Providing more charging stations for electric cars

Nobody will buy an electric car if there is no infrastructure to charge it. This is why Germany is seeking to provide one million public charging stations by 2030. The government's Charging Infrastructure Master Plan explains how the goal of providing electric mobility for everyone can be reached.

Charging stations for electric cars© AdobeStock/Ralf Geithe

The Charging Infrastructure Master Plan, which was adopted by the Federal Cabinet at the end of 2019, sets out a large number of measures for creating a user-friendly charging infrastructure across Germany for up to ten million electric cars. Now that the details of the plan have been worked out, implementation can begin.

'Our goal is to ensure that nobody in Germany will tell us that they won't buy an electric car because they don't know how or where to charge it,' Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said on the subject of charging infrastructure expansion at a meeting with energy companies in December 2019 hosted by both him and Federal Minister for Transport Andreas Scheuer. He continued by saying that in order to reach this goal, the Federal Government, carmakers and energy companies all needed to continue to pull in the same direction. 'If we don't have enough charging stations and if we don’t have enough renewable electricity, sustainable electric mobility will simply be impossible. We need to expand our charging infrastructure and we need to integrate it into our grid.'

The key points of the Charging Infrastructure Master Plan

By 2030, all Germans are to be able to quickly find an easy-to-use charging station where they can recharge their car for the next trip. The idea is to assure those interested in buying an electric car that they will be able to find a charging station for their vehicle close by.

Germany currently has 23,840 public charging stations – 12 per cent of which are rapid chargers. Germany seeks to expand its number of charging stations, also with a view to meeting its climate change mitigation targets in the transport sector. The Climate Action Plan envisages cutting hazardous greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 40 per cent by 2030. In order to reach this goal, 50,000 additional public charging stations are to be installed in the next two years under the Charging Infrastructure Master Plan. The automotive industry has stated that they will add 15,000 public charging stations by 2022. In addition, funding worth 50 million euros will be available in 2020 under a new programme to encourage the equipping of private parking bays with chargers.

The government also wants to provide more funding for creating charging stations in shopping mall car parks, so cars can be charged while people shop. Automotive companies are seeking to create an additional 100,000 charging stations on their premises and those of their car dealers. The energy industry also wants to contribute – with up to 4,000 rapid chargers in the making.

Controlling the charging process in a smart manner in order to prevent bottlenecks in the grid

Germany's focus in electric mobility is on controlling the charging process in a smart manner, thus preventing bottlenecks in the grid. Network operators are to be provided as soon as possible with all the information they need to expand the grid in a forward-looking manner. They are also to be enabled to control the charging process of electric vehicles in a smart manner.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Bundesnetzagentur (the German regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets) and the network operators are seeking to present a proposal by this March that will encourage a forward-looking expansion of the grids. In order to speed up the creation of charging infrastructure, energy companies are asking for less time-consuming approval and grid-connection procedures. The National Charging Infrastructure Coordination Office was already set up last year. The Master Plan is to be reviewed every three years.

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